CRT Newsletter 008

Thank you so much for your ongoing support, encouragement and prayers throughout this year. I am delighted to share with you all that is happening in the network.

Our network hosted Assemble in March – it was so exciting gathering together in person once again. The day was full of prayer and worship and an opportunity to encourage and recommission the network churches and leaders. There was a time to share stories and hear all that God is doing and how faithful He has been during these challenging times.

Over the last couple of months we have also had the pleasure of welcoming some incredible guests. In April HRH Prince Charles visited a Love Your Neighbour Hub, and was moved to tears hearing the powerful stories of our Afghanistan and Ukrainian guests that Love Your Neighbour have had the privilege of supporting. We were also visited by Alan Smith in March, the First Church Estates Commissioner for the Church of England. We had the opportunity to highlight all that has been happening in our network, he met the CRT team and members of the Caleb and Peter streams.

We feel excited with all that has been happening as the network churches meet in person again and are looking forward to gathering together at FOCUS.

We would not be able to do this without your ongoing support and prayers, so I want to take the opportunity to thank you for all that you are doing. I hope you find this newsletter a blessing and an encouragement.

With my very best wishes,

Rev’d Sarah Jackson
CEO of the Church Revitalisation Trust

What You've Made Possible

We are so excited about all that is happening across our network! From churches launching to new conferences, and new community initiatives: we are delighted to share some key highlights.

  • River Church, Ipswich launched THE FOUR – a service aimed especially at reaching children and their families.
  • Ascension Balham has opened their first Bubble Church franchise at a nearby church.
  • Saint Wilfrid, Bognor Regis has launched Students and Young Adults Nights after a successful pilot before Christmas.
  • The Well, Swindon has launched a toddler group called Little Wellies.
  • St Nicholas, Bristol has launched a mentoring programme with 30 pairs of mentoring partnerships.
  • Love Ukraine launched as Love Your Neighbour’s response to the crisis in Ukraine, welcoming refugees arriving into the UK.
  • Leadership Conference 22 was live streamed from HTB and network churches hosted watch parties across the country. Moreover, 150,000 people from 189 countries tuned in online!
Citizen Church Cardiff 1

Church Spotlight

Pattern Church are based in the heart of Swindon and launched in December 2018.

They hosted their Hearing God conference in April, which was an amazing day filled with Bible teaching, worship and practical seminars on hearing God.

In September of last year, Pattern also started Growbaby Swindon. Growbaby provides free clothes, toiletries and equipment to any parent who needs it. Through this, Pattern have been able to form amazing connections with members of their community and provide vital support to many.

They also have a heart for refugees – in response to many displaced Ukrainian’s arriving in Swindon they started The Table which is a weekly bring and share meal where Ukrainian refugees and host families can come to make friends, eat and build community.

Please do listen to the short piece done by a local BBC radio station on the incredible impact Pattern Church are having!

Recent Launches

On Easter Sunday both Blackpool Church and Bay Church Torbay had exciting launch days!

Blackpool Church’s launch day had over 200 people attending, including the Mayor of Blackpool. Andy Dykes and his team long to see Blackpool transformed by the love of Jesus. Blackpool is the most deprived town in the country with 8 of the 10 most deprived neighbourhoods in England located here.

“We long to see Blackpool Church being part of rewriting the headlines and seeing Jesus transform the town. We want to serve the poor, encourage parents, pray for healing for the sick and champion young people.”
– Andy Dykes

Bay Church Torbay’s launch went off with a bang of confetti, and after an amazing first service with 50 children and 140 adults, they gave out an Easter egg to every child and enjoyed a free ice cream van.

Two new initiatives that have come out of this heart for people to find a home are Bay Tots and Bay Tea.

Bay Tots is a weekly drop in for parents of little ones and Bay Tea is a weekly group after school where families can connect and eat a meal together.

“We want to see young families and young people, especially, find a home and a place of belonging with Bay Church.”
– Matt Bray

Assemble Reflections

We loved being back in person for Assemble this year! Assemble is our annual gathering of worship, prayer and ministry with staff teams across the church network.

This year, for the first time, over 700 network staff members gathered across six hubs: Bristol, Coventry, London, Plymouth, Portsmouth and  Preston.

We loved being encouraged, sharing stories and hearing all that God is doing across the network and celebrating His faithfulness. It was a time to reenergise and look forward!

The Caleb Stream

The Caleb Stream is revitalising the Church by preparing experienced leaders who feel called to serve in their local context as self-supporting ordained ministers. Through a one-year pathway for ordained ministry in the Church of England, the Caleb Stream is designed specically for mature and experienced lay leaders. It overlaps the formal selection process and training, preparing candidates for ordination and local deployment after 12 months. We have had a fantastic response to the Caleb Stream, with many individuals expressing a sense of calling into church leadership but never knowing how it would work for them.

The Caleb Stream has been noticed by national press, as The Times newspaper wrote an article earlier this month, which has led to an increased uptake. Read the article online.


Love Your Neighbour

We have seen that when churches have the vision, expertise and resources to be highly impactful centres of social transformation, communities are changed in remarkable ways.

In April, we were pleased to launch the Love Your Neighbour Hub Accelerator (pilot). The Hub Accelerator is a 7-month journey, aimed to give churches all they need to be centres of social transformation in their communities.

There are 16 churches partaking in the pilot, representing different denominations and regions across the UK.

Volunteers serving with Love Your Neighbour have been doing such an amazing job that they have been recognised by HRH Prince Charles.

Love Your Neighbour had the privilege of welcoming HRH Prince Charles to one of their hubs and showing him the work they are doing with refugees and other displaced people through a community café, children’s programme, women’s programmes and an employability programme lead by Resurgo.

Coming up in 2022

We are so inspired by everything that has taken place across the network already in 2022 and can’t wait to see what God is going to do in the rest of the year! There will be an Accelerator Program Graduation taking place in June as well as this year’s Peter Stream cohort’s ordination. We are also looking forward to seeing many of you back at Focus in July at its new home in the Newark showground.

Please do continue to pray for our growing network, for our senior leaders, upcoming launches, and social transformation initiatives across the country – that God would move in our nation and that we would see the evangelisation of the nation, the revitalisation of the church and the transformation of society.

Friends of CRT

None of this would be possible without your continued support, prayers and donations. Thank you so much for your faithful and generous support of CRT.

We would love to invite you to become a Friend of CRT by giving a one-off donation or supporting us monthly.